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Gatorade looking to add muscle in 2010

Product and packaging moves are at the starting line for the company, which apparently plans to continue with its much-debated G logo.

They say the best defense is a good offense, and Gatorade apparently plans to ride that theory in 2010 when it attempts to reverse sales slumps through both product and packaging innovation.

Included in the mix, according to Advertising Age, is the packaging for the company’s G2 beverage line. The packaging has been praised in some quarters as edgy and hip but vilified elsewhere in comments summarized with “huh?”

How is Gatorade going on the offensive? It plans to introduce a lower-calorie version of its G2 beverage formula, backed by new packaging graphics that support the message of a more healthful beverage, and also plenty of advertising. Gatorade, however, sounds committed to continue to build around the G logo it introduced on beverage bottles last year.

Ironically, some analysts blame the brand’s sales slump on the new packaging, saying it confused consumers about the Gatorade brand. To what extent is that true, given that the sports-drink category as a whole has seen double-digit sales declines during the past year? Did Gatorade go too far to fast with substantial packaging changes, or was the brand’s sales slump a byproduct of the recession?

Product and design teams will be watching this brand closely in the new year.

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